1.International Affairs

Slovenia becomes first coronavirus-free country in Europe

1 5 Daily Current Affairs Update | 18 May 2020

Slovenia has become the first officially declared coronavirus-free country in Europe.

It had reported 1,464 cases of COVID-19 resulting in 103 deaths.

It is located in Central Europe and shares borders with Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Croatia.

Quick Fact: Capital: Ljubljana, Currency: Euro

2.International Affairs

WTO chief Roberto Azevedo resigns

2 5 Daily Current Affairs Update | 18 May 2020

He is said to have resigned after intense pressure from US President Donald Trump who has accused WTO of anti-US bias among other allegations.

The Brazilian diplomat’s second four-year term would have normally ended in September 2021.

He has been the World Trade Organisation’s chief since 2013.

Quick Fact: The normal term duration of the WTO chief is four years long.

3.India and the world

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Foreign Ministers meet on COVID-19

3 5 Daily Current Affairs Update | 18 May 2020

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation

Foreign ministers of member countries met virtually to discuss cooperation to fight the COVID-19 pandemic

India was represented by the External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar

Quick Fact: SCO comprises of 8 members: India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan

4.Defence and Security

Army proposes 3-year stint for civilians

4 5 Daily Current Affairs Update | 18 May 2020

Army plans to take civilians on a three-year “Tour of Duty” (ToD) or short service” on a trial basis to serve as officers and in other ranks for a limited number of vacancies

This aims to reduce the expenditure on pay and pensions and free up funds for the Army’s modernisation.

In return, recruits would be taken up as interns with a tax-free salary and be favored for corporate and public sector jobs post their temporary experience.

5.Government Schemes

“Goal Programme” launched for Tribal Youth

5 6 Daily Current Affairs Update | 18 May 2020

The Ministry for Tribal Affairs has launched the “GOAL Programme” in partnership with Facebook.

GOAL Programme, Going Online As Leaders, is being launched to provide mentorship to the tribal youth in digital mode.

The programme will focus on three areas: Life skills, Digital literacy and Leadership and entrepreneurship in sectors like agriculture, handicrafts, etc.

Quick Fact: Arjun Munda is the Union Minister for Tribal Affairs

6.Science and Technology

Light Weight Carbon Foam Batteries developed by CSIR

6 5 Daily Current Affairs Update | 18 May 2020

CSIR has developed light carbon foam material.

This material can be replaced in lead batteries as it is non-toxic, affordable and easy to make.

Carbon foams are porous and form a new type of electrolyte structure which can increase power, energy and life cycle of their batteries.

Quick Fact: The world’s first carbon foam manufacturing unit was set up in Gujarat in 2011.

7.Science and Technology

Injectable Silk-Fibroin based Hydrogel developed for diabetics

7 10 Daily Current Affairs Update | 18 May 2020

JNCASR (Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research) has developed the hydrogel.

The hydrogel will ease insulin delivery in diabetic patients.

Subcutaneous injections of insulin with fibroid based hydrogel form active depots under the skin which release insulin slowly in patients.

Quick Fact: A hydrogel is a network of polymer chains which is highly absorbent

8.India and the world

India attends 32nd Commonwealth Health Ministers’ meeting

8 5 Daily Current Affairs Update | 18 May 2020

Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan participated in the meeting

Member countries’ COVID-19 related health and allied economic measures were discussed

The theme of the meeting was: Delivering a coordinated Commonwealth COVID-19 response. 

Quick Fact: The Commonwealth of Nations is a political association of 54 member states, mostly all former territories of the British Empire

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